Federal university wins N200mn research grant on alternative energy

An Italian-based organisation known as The World Academy of Science (TWAS) and the African Academy of Science based in Nairobi, Kenya had awarded the sum of over N200 million to Federal University Dutse (FUD) in Jigawa state.

This was contained in a statement issued, signed, and made available to Tribune Online in Dutse Jigawa state capital, by the public relations officer to the university, Abdullahi Yahaya Bello, who said the grant is to carry out research on hydrogen (solar fuel) through the splitting of water as an alternative to fossil fuel (petroleum) in Nigeria.

According to the statement, “The World Academy of Science gave the university $59,930 equivalent to N42,849,950 million, while the African Academy of Science gave the university the sum of €220,801 equivalent to N157,872,715 million making the total sum of N200,722,66 million.”


The PRO maintained that the lead researcher, Dr. Hafeez Yusuf Hafeez of the Physics Department, Federal University Dutse said the research proposal that won the TWAS award is titled “Development of Efficient and Robust graphene based photocatalysis for the production of solar fuel(hydrogen) via photocatalic water splitting) while the title of the proposal that won the AAS award is “Development of Efficient and Robust mxene based photocatalysis for the production of solar fuel(hydrogen) via photocatalic water splitting”.

The statement stated further that Dr. Hafeez said four MSc students will be trained under the TWAS research grant while six MSc students and two Ph.D. students will be trained under the AAS grant.

He said he was motivated to carry out the research into this new area because of Nigeria’s over dependence on fossil fuel (petroleum) even though there is abundance of solar light and water in country adding that this research is an extension of his Ph.D. work in India which the Indian government are now exploring at the commercial level.

The lead researcher said the world is now moving towards hydrogen energy due to its high combustion, zero emissions and it has the highest energy content (~150 kJ/Kg) compared to others such as petroleum, diesel etc. adding that it is the cheapest source of energy because it requires only water, solar light and suitable photocatalyst.

He said Nigeria will be the first country in Africa that will explore hydrogen energy as alternative source of energy and FUD will be the pioneer centre of hydrogen energy in Sub-saharan Africa and Africa at large.

According to him, the TWAS research is for a two years period while that of AAS is for a period of four years adding that part of the grant is to establish a research lab at FUD which they are working on.

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